Natural remedies for summer

 Summertime!  And as the song says “the living is easy”.   Backyards and beaches beckon, temperatures soar and cold-weather drab becomes a distant memory.   In a soft rustle of summer sound the quietude of Winter breaks as chirping birds and katydids make their presence known. 

 The season is not without its worries, though.  Songbirds and crickets aren’t the only ones coming out – the warming weather wakes hibernating yellow jackets and bumblebees too, and growing grasses can conceal their nests.  Bee-stings too are a sign of summer.   But a run in with the business end  of a bee doesn’t have to spoil the day.  Unless you are allergic, in which case medical attention may be necessary, there are some simple, natural treatments that can help take the sting out of being stung.

Bee Sting Remedies in the Kitchen

 Granny Med. Com advises first taking out the stinger and treating the wound with an antibiotic before trying one of the following:

     •   Ice.  Hold a cube directly to the sting site for 15 to 20 minutes (be careful to not exceed 20 minutes at a time and wait at least 15 minutes between applications)  It should dull the pain and reduce swelling.

     •   Honey.  Pour a little on the wound and cover lightly with gauze.  It has antibacterial agents (honey contains hydrogen peroxide!) and can offer short-term pain relief.

     •   Papaya.  Rub a slice of green papaya on the bee sting area.  High amounts of the enzyme papain are present in the unripe fruit and act to break down proteins.  This helps diminish the poisonous effects of the venom.  This remedy is not recommended for people who have latex allergies.   

Look in the Garden for These Remedies

 It’s no secret that many herbs have medicinal as well as flavoring properties.  Peruse the pages of Home Remedy Reference Center and learn about several that can be used to treat stings.

     •   Parsley.  Crush fresh parsley and rub on sting for relief.

     •   Basil.  Fresh basil leaves, crushed and applied to bee sting wound may also help heal.

     •   Onion.  Tape a slice of onion over the area for about an hour for an easy first aid treatment.

There are some treatments that are a little yucky, but many people are convinced of their efficacy.  These include:

      •   Dirt.  A paste of dirt and water is believed by some to have soothing properties.

      •   Plantain.  Learning Herbs.com gives instructions for chewing the leaves of this common weed and spitting the saliva onto the bee or wasp sting for relief. 

 Keep these home-remedies handy this summer and the days fun won’t have to end just because someone crosses paths with a buzzing bumblebee!